Almonds placed above dairy and rice, says Speak Up

By Jamie Salter

Almond production is favoured over dairy or rice, according to the Speak Up Campaign.

The lobby group said a lack of government support for staple food production was a concern for many farmers.

These concerns have risen after Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said he would support the almond industry by ensuring beekeepers freighting their livestock were able to cross the Victoria-NSW border.

Speak Up deputy chair Lachlan Marshall said calls for Mr Littleproud to provide support to the dairy industry had fallen on deaf ears.

“For example, Australia is about to run out of domestically grown rice because our Federal Government refuses to fix the problems it has created with poor water management,” Mr Marshall said.

“In my case, I cannot afford to continue feeding my cows and providing Aussie tables with fresh, home-grown milk because the cost of water has become prohibitive.

“Yet whenever we try to get help from Mr Littleproud or any of his federal colleagues, we effectively get pushed away.”

Mr Marshall also said Federal Water Minister Keith Pitt was ignoring staple food producers and the issue of water mismanagement.

“It is such a shame he (Mr Pitt) will not try to address the serious issues that continue to threaten food supplies being produced in the NSW Murray, which was once our nation’s food bowl,” he said.

“People understand that milk and rice are more important than almonds, and we are hoping people power will eventually force Mr Littleproud and his National Party colleagues to demand action, instead of protecting the Liberal Party’s prospects in South Australia.

“While they presently seem to think it’s okay to protect almond growers, but not okay to protect dairy and rice farmers, in our view this is unacceptable.”